Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: Divine by Leanne Rathbone

Divine (The Revelations Series Book 2) by Leanne Rathbone
Divine
The Revelations Series
Leanne Rathbone
May 20, 2017
YA Paranormal / Fantasy
eBook
Blurb:
What do you do when you discover that your entire life has been a lie, that you were living solely to serve the purpose of another?

Seventeen year old Grace Ayre is heartbroken. She's still reeling from the devastating loss of two people whom she loved and the realization that her life has never really been her own.

Lies and deceptions are all she's ever known but now the truth is out. The world she thought she knew is only half the story, and the more she hears from the other side, the more she realizes she is nothing more than a clueless little girl. She must reach her eighteenth birthday in order to fulfill a prophecy and end a war that has raged since the dawn of time. There's just one problem...the Guardians are standing in her way. As a band of despicable assassins without conscience, they will stop at nothing to end Grace's life and prevent the prophecy from being realized.

If she thought falling hard for a demon was her biggest problem then she was sadly mistaken.

Turning eighteen has never been so important. Join Grace as she continues her journey of discovery in Divine: Book Two of The Revelations Series.

My Review:
I was really eager to read Divine after reading and loving Grace last year. Admittedly, it's been a long year filled with a lot of other books but the beginning of Divine confused me. The last I remembered Tyler was the only fatality of Grace's showdown with the Guardians at the church. And I didn't think she was with Dan. So when the story begins and Grace is living in a flat with Dan with bits and pieces of her memory gone I actually thought maybe I was losing things. So I reflected back and no, I'm not crazy - we left off with Grace very much in love with Nate. 

As Grace's memories begin to resurface she struggles with the feeling that Dan isn't who she really wants - but it isn't until she runs into a stranger that seems crushed that she doesn't remember him that things finally start to unravel and the truth begins to shine through, clearing things up for me as a reader. 

It was easy to get caught up in the story as Grace learns more about herself and the prophecy, as well as the truth of Lucifer, God, and the Guardians and the need to find out what's going to happen next keeps the reader engaged. Will the Guardian's strike again? Where is her mother, do they have her? Will Grace be able to control her power? 

At the same time, although I understand that it was hard for Grace to come to terms with her future and people wanting her dead, her naivety kind of annoyed me at times. And the way the story was written, where the author uses "?!" quite a bit at the end of sentences sounded like the character was a bit ditsy. It also lost a little something with me that Grace got so wrapped up with sleeping with Nate once they'd started - it was like a kid with a shiny new toy. 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story - it still reminds me of Lauren Kate's Fallen series which I read and loved as a teenager and I think the story overall is a cool idea which I know that readers will love. I just didn't quite love Divine as much as the first book. 

Would I read the final book in the trilogy? Yes, because I want to know how it all wraps up.

To summarize, Things I liked about Divine:
- Hearing more about Dan and Nate's past and getting to see him in a different light because I admit, I didn't like Dan in Grace.
- Grace learning more about the prophecy and the roll she'll play in the battle between Lucifer and God.
- The action in the story. 

Things I didn't like about Divine:
- Grace's naivete.
- The over-usage of exclamation points and "?!"
- (Slightly) the beginning of the book because it confused me from where it left off in book one.

My Rating:
3.75 of 5 Stars!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#BookMail Thursday #22

Last week I was lucky enough to get a few different ARCs to review. One was a physical ARC and three were eARCs. I also picked up two freebie books by an author I love and an author I've been meaning to read. Here's what I found in my mailbox (or email inbox) this week...

Physical ARC:
The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee (Harper, 08/2017)

eARCs:
Divine by Leanne Rathbone (Self-published 5/20/2017)

Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine (Entangled Teen 6/5/2017)

Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa Hardesty (Entangled Teen, 6/12/2017)

Freebie books:
Sharing Rylee by D. Kelly

Mateguas Island by Linda Watkins

June Waiting On:
Signed Copies of:
- Roar by Cora Carmack
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
- The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
- Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
-Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh
-Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan

After this I'm forcing myself to cool it on book shopping. I'm not sure it's a good idea to do a Kickstarter for my upcoming fantasy novel, CurseBreaker so I'm going to try to save up to pay for the Kirkus Review and other extras I want for CB out of my own pocket. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"What I'm Reading" Wednesday #76

I'm in the land of ARCs this week as I try to catch up on some of the review copies I've received. This "WIR"-Wednesday I'm reading...

Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa Hardesty
Blurb:
Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.

Paul Andinn had only one job: watch over Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but the moment he looked away, she kissed that boy, and everything changed.

He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.

Why I Requested This Book:
I've been intrigued by the idea of succubus in the YA Genre since writing about Arianthe in my Eternals Trilogy. The very idea of being a teenager and wanting to date and kiss boys but then being cursed with the ability to land your date in the hospital - or worse - is a perfect monkey-wrench to throw at a teenage girl so when I read about Kiss Me, Kill You I jumped at the opportunity to request an eARC. I just started reading last night and since it's an ARC I don't want to give away too much before my final review but I'm liking the story so far!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

{Release Day Blitz} Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan


I'm back to remind you that the sexy, not-to-be-missed enemies to lovers standalone novel, Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan hits bookstands today! 


Sexy Stranger
By Kendall Ryan
Standalone, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017



About the Book
From New York Times Bestselling Author Kendall Ryan comes a sexy and sizzling, enemies-to-lovers romp with bite.

He's rude. Arrogant. And too hot to handle.

And she's stranded with him for an entire week.

He knows the sexy stranger doesn't belong in his small town, but he's determined to keep her there. The second she opens her smart mouth, he wants to swap a whole lot more than insults with her.

She’s got a secret. But he’s got his own agenda.

Buckle up.

"A steamy and red-hot enemies-to-lovers romance like I've never read before!" - Beneath the Covers Book Blog

"It was FREAKING FANTASTIC! Sexy, charming, and full of witty banter, I couldn't get enough of Luke and Charlotte!" - Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads

Scoop up your copy today:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She's a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she's appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

Monday, May 22, 2017

{Book Review Tour} Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan

Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan
Sexy Stranger
By Kendall Ryan
Standalone, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Blurb:
From New York Times Bestselling Author Kendall Ryan comes a sexy and sizzling, enemies-to-lovers romp with bite.

He's rude. Arrogant. And too hot to handle.

And she's stranded with him for an entire week.

He knows the sexy stranger doesn't belong in his small town, but he's determined to keep her there. The second she opens her smart mouth, he wants to swap a whole lot more than insults with her.

She’s got a secret. But he’s got his own agenda.

Buckle up.


"A steamy and red-hot enemies-to-lovers romance like I've never read before!" - Beneath the Covers Book Blog


"It was FREAKING FANTASTIC! Sexy, charming, and full of witty banter, I couldn't get enough of Luke and Charlotte!" - Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads


My Review:
When Charlotte Freemont walks into What the Cluck one Sunday morning Luke Wilder knows one thing for certain: she's not from Shady Grove, Texas. And outsiders never stick around. But he'd have to be blind not to be attracted to the beautiful brunette with the smart mouth.

Charlotte just wants her Audi to get repaired so she can be on her way to her new life in LA with her friend Valentina. After the recent disastrous end of her last relationship, the last thing she's looking for is a rude hick that makes her blood boil - even if he is completely sexy. 

With nothing better to do, Charlotte quickly finds herself spending extra time with Luke, his twin brother Duke, and their sister Molly.  When an offer to help Luke with a marketing strategy for his family's whiskey distillery turns into a private tasting sparks fly and neither one can deny the chemistry between them. 

But will a short fling between sexy strangers be enough?  What will happen when Luke begins to see that Charlotte isn't like the other women that have walked out of his life? Will he have the courage to ask Charlotte to stay? Or will his fear of letting someone in cause Charlotte to slip right through his fingers? And how will he handle it when Charlotte's past comes knocking at the door?

First of all, Sexy Stranger was the first book I've read by Kendall Ryan but let me tell you - it definitely won't be the last! Sexy Stranger was addicting, cute, and oh so sexy! I was hooked from the first page with the easy storytelling and witty writing.

I loved the names of all the businesses in Shady Grove and the town itself made you wish it was a real place you could visit. Charlotte and Luke were both strong characters and the chemistry between them leaped right from the page.  

My only concern was that the relationship between Charlotte and Luke almost developed a little too quickly for me in the beginning. One minute they couldn't stand each other then the next they wanted to rip each other's clothes off. Sure, the timeline of the story meant they didn't have a lot of time together but can someone really go from dislike to lust within the span of a day or so? But perhaps I'm just being a skeptic. 

I also really loved Duke and Molly. I'm left wondering if in the future they'll get books of their own. I'd really love to see them both find someone that's right for them! 

Overall, I have no major (or even minor) complaints about Sexy Stranger. It was a fantastic read and I look forward to reading more by this author. This is one book you should definitely place at the top of your To-Be-Read list!

My Rating:
5 of 5 Stars

Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan is out tomorrow, MAY 23, 2017! Pre-order your copy today!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She's a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she's appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Blurb:
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

My Review:
Have you ever seen a movie preview and it looks good, but then they really start promoting it and when you finally see the movie its not what you were expecting or hoping for?

That was ACOWAR for me. The ending of ACOMAF was agonizing - I wanted to find out what was going to happen so badly and then I had to wait a whole year for ACOWAR to come out, which was excruciating. But I let the excitement build, I bought into the hype, I preordered three different copies, and worst of all, I sped through other amazing books while waiting for ACOWAR to arrive in the mail.

And on May 3rd, the day after the release when I received two of my copies, I eagerly began reading. Now, two weeks later I just can't do it anymore and it makes me want to cry. I'm stopping at page 320.

Why, you ask? Because I am so unbelievably bored.

Let's start at the beginning (and I'll try not to be too spoilery):

Back in the Spring Court with Tamlin: 
I was expecting that Feyre would make Tamlin pay for what he'd done. I wanted her to torture him and make him suffer. Did I get that? No :( it was pretty unexciting. She turned his people against him. Big whoop. I mean I loved what she did Ianthe but Tamlin got off way too easy. And I also expected him to put up more of a fight. I never did see him reenter the story because I stopped before that.

Return to the Night Court, Rhys, and the Inner Circle:

Is it just me or is Rhys completely boring in this book? I know, I know.. you're hating me right about now. I'm hating myself. But he just wasn't as good in this book. He was kind of a pushover when it came to Feyre, just kind of... soft. Where was the cockiness and the swagger? I saw hints, but it wasn't the same.

Nesta & Cassian: Are they mates? I never got that far so I don't know but dammit I just wanted them to hop in the sack and put everyone else out of their misery.

Elain: Possibly the most depressing character of all. Seriously, someone get the girl some uppers! I felt so sorry for Lucien as Elain sat staring out a window whining that her human fiance wouldn't want her anymore. Hell, I wouldn't even have minded if she'd gotten with Azriel!

Ok, mini rant over... Basically what it boils down to is that I've read and loved three novels by SJM: ACOTAR, ACOMAF, and Empire of Storms (because I'm reading that series in reverse). SJM was a major contributor to me falling in love with the High Fantasy genre in the first place.

Maybe the excitement and the pacing of EOS ruined me but this book really seemed to drag. As far as I got, there were a few sections of action, but mostly it was stagnant and inactive. Instead of the story progressing it was repetitive: Feyre trains with Cassian, Feyre trains with Azriel, Feyre has fairly boring sex with Rhys (more on that later), Feyre coddles Elain and squabbles with Nesta. Yawn. Where was the action? Where was the adventure? Did SJM really cram all the epic battle scenes into the end and I just not get there?

Back to the sex scenes - I know a lot of people say SJM's scenes are too steamy but I disagree. For me they usually pack the perfect amount of heat - but hey, I'm 24 and I like it dirty. But in all honesty I found the sex scenes in ACOWAR to be rather dull and again repetitive. There was no heat for me.

Overall, I had so much excitement riding on this book and in the end I was left feeling let down and disappointed. Feeling like my fandom let me down. Will I read another SJM book in the future? Probably. I need to see how the TOG series ends. I just need a break after ACOWAR.


My Rating:
2.5 of 5 Stars

Friday, May 19, 2017

Why Writing 2 Books A Year Is Good for My Writing Process

Writers work at all different paces. I learned that recently at the Afternoon with the Authors event at the Shawano Library. 

Some writers can sit down on a Friday and have a fifty-thousand-word manuscript completed by Monday morning, others spend years working on the same project. 

Over the past ten years, it has taken less and less time for me to complete a writing project. The Haunting Love took me a little over a year to complete. Finding Elizabeth and Out of Darkness were on and off the back burner for 2 years, during which time Out of Darkness had three different versions before I reached what it finally became. 

But after that, I finished Into the Light in one month, during NaNoWriMo 2015 and Through the Fog was written in 3 months hard-writing time. Eternal Fire was shorter in length, only taking 6 weeks to write and then CurseBreaker poured out of me last NaNoWriMo.

Now I'm working on my seventh full-length novel (eighth major writing project), Headless, which I am on track to finish (hopefully) by the end of June. This will make it another 3-month project.

I've fallen into a pattern. I've learned that two major writing projects a year is what works best for me and for my writing project. In the spring I can commit more time to writing one project, then rest up over the end of summer and start planning that big push, the big NaNoWriMo project as fall begins. That way I don't push myself too hard, I keep up with my publishing deadlines, and I don't feel the burnout as much. 

Burnout is the one thing I, as a writer, fear. I admit it, I'm a workaholic. When I'm not writing, I'm blogging, when I'm not blogging I'm reading a book to review. I work on promotion, writing, and publishing during the day when able, then stay up, sometimes until 2 am or later writing again. But I figure, at this pace, I can give myself plenty of downtime throughout the year. 

It's all about finding what's comfortable for you. Don't feel the need to push yourself to compete with another writer who's working at a different pace. It's your story, and although it's occasionally fun to be competitive (like during NaNoWriMo), in the end, it's about writing something that can be shaped into a publishable product in the end. 

Are you a writer? What is your average time spent working on a project? Do you have more than one project going on at a time? Let me know in the comments!